A number of years ago, I took a cruise around the Hawaiian Islands. I can describe it in one word: breathtaking. It was “pinch-me” beautiful, and I was surrounded by wonderful people. It was truly a place of great energy.
While there, I loved their greeting, “Aloha,” – which in Hawaiian really means affection, peace, compassion and mercy. What a great way to greet each other. It is much like the Hindu greeting “Namaste” – which means, “the divine in me acknowledges the divine in you.” Powerful greetings. Connective greetings. Now compare that to our functional “Hello.” Coming from hallo or hollo, these were words that were used to essentially fetch someone. In short, Aloha is deeply personal; Hello is more like “hey you.”
This is not a post about greeting etymology; rather it is about how to approach life wisely, kindly and powerfully within our greatness zone. Certainly using a greeting that is compassionate and caring is one way to connect to a larger approach to life. I personally like to use the word Aloha as an acronym to help create focus for my day.
To me, ALOHA means “A Life Of Happiness and Abundance.” This is how I choose to greet each day – compassionately and intentionally. ALOHA.
A life of happiness and abundance is the life I want. To create it, I need to focus on creating a clear path to follow. Then, as events happen in my day, I can assess whether the events bring me in the direction of my goal or not. With ALOHA, I have greater clarity, leading to improved decisions and choices. Better decisions help move me toward my goal of living a great, happy and abundant life.
Let’s revisit ALOHA from a management perspective. In my line of work, I routinely meet a number of CEOs. It always surprises me how few of them have clearly defined the vision, mission and direction for their organizations, and perhaps more importantly, have shared it with their employees. Without this open communication, there is no clear destination on the “work GPS” so all employees know where they are headed and how they should show up to their jobs. And with this clarity, many employees wander through their days, less effective than they could be.
The same is true in life. Without a clear sense of direction, any road will do, at least for that moment. Consider this quote from greatness author Robin Sharma, “Few things are as disappointing as investing all your time, energy and potential climbing a mountain only to find – once at the top – that you climbed the wrong one.” The more clear and intentional we are about what we want both in and for our lives, the greater potential, ability and commitment we have in achieving it. ALOHA creates clarity for me.
My company teaches self-awareness and performance improvement programs. One of the tools we use is a customized GPS – a tool to help people learn how to build a route to their best life. The starting point is always them, the ending point is always “Great, Happy and Healthy Life” – a life of abundance. They each then define what a great, happy and healthy life looks like. For some it may mean tangible wealth. For others, a powerful faith. Still others, a life in music, art or engineering. And that barely scratches the surface.
To achieve any goal requires clarity and focus. Define your destination. Start each day by saying “Aloha” – greet yourself with compassion, peace and affection. Then remind yourself to stay focused on a life of happiness and abundance. Easy to remember. Easy to use. Easy to share.
Travel well in your happy and abundant life. Aloha.